Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widens despite strong export growth in May

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

July 13, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s trade deficit expanded to 429 million dollars for the five months to May, amidst strong growth in export earnings. Exports from Sri Lanka rose 5.8 percent to 2,530 million dollars from Jan – May, as the island shipped more clothes, tea, rubber based products.

During the month of May, export revenue grew 13.6 percent to 509.4 million dollars, which pushed the cumulative earnings up 5.8 percent to 2,530 million dollars.

Sri Lanka’s exports of clothes, tea and rubber based products slumped during the first three months, but picked up to 22.0 percent in April.

The decline in the local rupee, which fell 2.0 percent against the U.S. dollar in the last six months, has failed to increase demand for the country’s goods, according analysts.

Sri Lanka imported 4,015 million dollars worth of goods from Jan-May, with petroleum shipments accounting for nearly 19 percent of total costs.

A net oil importer, the country bought 822 million dollars worth of petroleum products during the period. The country also bought a lot of textiles, wheat, sugar and motor vehicles, the bank said.

Sri Lanka’s balance